Date: 20th March 2009 at 2:19pm
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Blackpool host relegation rivals Southampton on Saturday, with both sides desperate for the win in order to give their survival chances a boost.

Blackpool currently sit in 18th place with 46 points from 39 games, with Tony Parkes’ side having been in decent form in the last few games.

The Tangerines recorded a 1-0 away win over Barnsley in their last outing, thanks to a superb volley from loan signing Wade Small, who failed to live up to his name by making a BIG impression on his debut!

Small will be eager to build upon his impressive debut for the Lancashire outfit as they look to pull themselves even further away from the drop zone by picking up all three points against Mark Wotte’s side.

Under their Dutch Head Coach, Saints’ form has picked up, having won three, drawn four and lost three in the ten games that the 52-year-old has taken charge of.

In their last match, the Saints were held at St Mary’s by a lacklustre QPR, with both sides failing to break the deadlock.

The Saints will be keen to get back to winning ways as they find themselves in all sorts of trouble, sitting in 23rd place with 39 points from 38 games, although they do have a game in hand on tomorrow’s opponents.

Vital Quotes: Wotte on Saints’ chances

“As I’ve said before, I think that we can beat anyone if we do a good defensive job and take our chances. We need to have a repeat of what we did against Ipswich and that will help us in the table.

“I want to be a lucky coach, because sometimes the ball just goes the wrong side of the post when you have created a good chance. The boys have been working their socks off so that’s not the issue, but now it’s time to be effective.

“We need results to get out of the bottom three and that’s what it’s all about now.

“We have many players who can score and it’s up to everyone to take responsibility. I don’t care who scores as long as we score one more that the opposition and pick-up the three points.”

Blackpool Team News:

Alan Mahon is poised to make his Blackpool debut after joining on loan for the remainder of the season.

Ben Burgess is back in training after a knee injury but will not feature, while Ian Evatt is also struggling with a knee problem.

Danny Coid is Blackpool’s other absentee and is set to miss out with a hamstring injury.

Player to watch: Wade Small

The on loan Sheffield Wednesday player impressed on his debut, and the winger will want to continue his good form in this one.

Southampton Team News:

Mark Wotte has no fresh injury concerns ahead of this game, although he does face a selection headache.

Lloyd James starts a two-game suspension with Jake Thomson likely to deputise. Simon Gillett and Zoltan Liptak are also in contention to start at right back.

After impressing after coming on as a substitute against QPR, Bradley Wright-Phillips is pushing for a starting role.

Player to watch: Andrew Surman

The former England Under-21 international has been disappointing in recent matches and is due a good performance. Saints fans will be hoping that he reproduces the form that saw a number of Premiership clubs scouting him back in January.

Match Facts & Stats

Last season’s trip to Blackpool ended in a 2-2 draw with Stern John getting the equaliser after the hosts had gone 2-1 up.

The fixture at St Mary’s earlier in that campaign saw John’s first half strike decisive again, as Saints ran out 1-0 winners in the first meeting between the sides for nearly 30 years.

The very first meeting between the two sides goes back to the 1922/23 season where the visiting Saints side took a 2-1 win at Bloomfield Road.

In the 39 league meetings between the two sides, Saints have taken all three points on 17 occasions. The game was a more regular league fixture in the 1970s with Southampton coming out on top more often than not during this period, with five victories from 10 matches.

Ref Watch:

Mr. David Foster (Tyne & Wear)

Match Prediction:

Obviously I am biased, but I genuinely believe Saints have got enough about them to pick up maximum points. It will be a close fought game and it won’t be pretty, but I’m backing Saints to win 2-1 with goals from Saeijs and Surman.

Next Fixtures:

Saturday 4th April – Charlton (H)
Tuesday 7th April – Watford (A)


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